Licensing and distribution can expand your business in 2016 and the business attorneys at the Watkins Firm can guide you efficiently through each step of the process. Licensing and distribution are two separate forms of expanding your business through the efforts of others. It is important that licensing and distribution agreements are carefully crafted and reviewed to protect your company’s intellectual property and the brand you have worked so hard to build. It is also important not to confuse “franchising” with licensing or distribution. Franchising requires an entirely different and more complex process tailored to each unique state where you wish to offer franchises.
Licensing contracts allow businesses in other regions of the country, different vertical market niches and global marketplaces to offer and utilize the intellectual property and brands of your company in return for a contractual fee. Intellectual property is the registered creations of your company such as designs, processes, logos, brands, trademarks, copyrighted materials, music, art or other “intangible” assets. Intellectual property must be protected and controlled, and a licensing agreement allows you to do so. Under the agreement, your company retains all rights and control of your own intellectual property, but you allow another company to use it in some fashion in order to make money. You charge a “royalty” or a “fee” to your business partner in return for the license to use and profit from your company’s intellectual property.
Distribution is an entirely different vehicle altogether. Distributors are an external entity who wish to sell your company’s goods and/or services while bearing their own expenses, by either purchasing the products or services at a discount and marking them up or to develop orders on behalf of your company in order to receive a commission when these orders are fulfilled. Distribution agreements usually establish a specific geographic “territory” or “vertical market” limitation that provides the right to distribute your company’s goods and services in a specific manner. Your company achieves a new channel of sales and profitability without having to incur the risk and expense of developing a sales force, technical support staff and physical facilities to sell and support your goods and services.
The experienced licensing and distribution attorneys at The Watkins Firm have decades of experience and expertise in these matters. Licensing and distribution can expand your business in 2016 and provide additional revenues and profits. If you are interested in offering licensing or distribution agreements we invite you to contact us for a free consultation at 858-535-1511.